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How to Avoid Making Mistakes on Social Media

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Thursday, December 04, 2014 |

It’s easy to understand the lure social media holds for startups - it’s the best vehicle for moving your new business forward fast and gaining momentum you can build on. Startups only get one chance to make a great first impression with people on social media. Lose that chance and you’ll end up falling behind and struggling to work twice as hard to cover lost ground on social sites.

Social media mistakes to avoid

To help you avoid descending to social media irrelevance, Entrepreneur shares the five major social media mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Trying to be everywhere
Every social media site is seen as a Mecca for prospects and if you don’t get them, somebody else will. No matter how strong the temptation is, you don’t have to be everywhere. First of all, it’s not easy to come up with original and relevant content for many different social networks. Second, it results to poor foundation for the whole social media marketing process. Focus on quality over quantity. Only choose the networks where most of your prospects are and that have the largest audiences. You can experiment with other networks as you expand your sales and build your team.

2. Promoting extensively without audience engagement
This is akin to social media suicide. Self-promotion is fine, but there should always be a balance between compelling content and engagement on one hand, and marketing on the other. Creative marketing will bring you audience and acknowledgment, while old-fashioned one-way advertising coming from an offline marketing mindset will only hurt your business.

3. Failing to plan
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Your product or service, no matter how great, won’t make a difference if people don’t trust you or know about you. You can’t expect to go viral and have people flock to your business unless you create a buzz and let people know you exist. Establish a posting schedule and stick to it. A mix of content, quizzes, polls, and videos will help. Your objective might be leads, brand recognition or sales, but for starters, your goal is for your target audience to get used to your presence and know that you engage.

4. Talking to the audience instead of talking with them
Boring content is counterproductive. Replace dull and generic opening lines with catchy (but not misleading) headers. Try to inject humor in your posts and responses. Make them genuine, infusing your personality into your content.

5. Losing steam after a strong start
Many startups fall into this trap, out of laziness, lack of focus, or impatience. Improve performance by measuring metrics, keeping track of competitors, and adapting to what your audience is telling you with their behavior. Don’t let your enthusiasm fade or you will lose the momentum.

One thing to remember is that social media marketing is a seemingly endless marathon, so be prepared to put in a lot of effort. Know your audience and show them that you care. Look for witty employees with a flair for language.

Now that you know what to do and what to avoid, you can now be on your way to beginning strong and executing your social media strategies the right way.

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